National Headache and Migraine Awareness Week

Headaches.jpg
types-of-headaches.jpg

Did you know that headaches are one of the commonest symptoms experienced by humans?

In fact, it is quite unusual not to have at least an occasional headache.  Why some people never experience headache is not known. 

Without sounding too technical, Headache Australia says it is probably linked with their inheritance of the chemical transmitters that pass messages in the brain from one nerve cell to another.  The brain has a control mechanism for pain impulses and the transmitter substances involved in this also play a part in the emotions,  As a general rule, happy people have fewer headaches than sad people but that is not the whole answer (Lance).

Headaches are usually harmless but can create concern about their origin.  Very occasionally headaches are a pointer to a serious disease such as brain tumour or stroke.   This is why many people seek advice from their doctors and, in some cases, are referred to specialist neurologists.  Normally the severity of the headache bears no relation to the gravity of the diagnosis (Spira).

A great deal of research has been directed at determining the mechanisms responsible for the production of the pain of headache.  While the brain is itself insensitive to pain, its covering membranes and its larger blood vessels are richly supplied by nerve fibres capable of transmitting the experience of pain.  Most of the other structures within the head and upper neck, e.g., eyes, ears, nasal sinuses, skin, muscle, joints and arteries are also exquisitively pain sensitive (Spira).

The mission of Headache Australia is to reduce the incidence and impact of the headache disorder through the provision of community awareness and research.